Advances in technology have done great things for renters and homebuyers.
Easy, instant access to custom maps and local pricing have made it easier than ever to find a new place without searching endlessly on foot or with vague classified ads.
However, these advantages don’t only exist for tenants – mobile technology and applications can help landlords more efficiently and profitably run their properties too.
Having access to pertinent on-the-go access to pertinent property information will save you time and enable more convenient communication with tenants.
From pricing and payment collection to maintenance and scheduling, here are 5 mobile app types that will change how you manage rental properties:
Collecting rent checks from tenants can be one of the more tedious parts of property management.
Getting rent delivered wirelessly in a timely and efficient manner can save time, effort and eliminate multiple trips to the bank.
Some landlords – with larger property portfolios – will build online auto-payment platforms into their websites to expedite payment.
For other landlords, alternative methods such as Square cash provide a free way to transfer rent money – without exchanging paper – from cell phone to cell phone, bank account to bank account. After a 30 day period and easy verification process, there is no limit to the amount of cash you can receive in payment to a personal account, and your tenants can send up to $2,500 weekly.
If you have several properties and want to streamline the process, signing up for a business account with no limits is a great option as well.
In both cases, you have the option to request cash if your tenants are running behind on their payment.
Venmo, a similar cash transfer app, has a limit of $2,999 per week. But, they do charge a 3 percent commission.
Check local rates
Tenants shouldn’t be the only ones keeping up on fluctuations in rental prices.
Gone are the days when landlords relied on local property value estimates, outdated appraisals and word of mouth to set competitive rental rates. When prices go up, you know how much to adjust before signing tenants into a lease.
Optimized rates equals higher rental returns!
Trulia developed a number of specialized apps for both renters and aspiring homeowners that can offer unique insight into street-by-street neighborhood pricing fluctuations (both of which feature really clean and precise data filters to narrow your search).
Zillow’s versatile real estate app provides GPS searches for local home price “Zestimates,” available rentals, recent sales, foreclosures, and more.
Always check Zillow for updated market trends, which can peg current average local home prices, appreciation rates and more to help you set rental rates. You can also use the data to determine the best time to sell.
Keep everything covered
Keeping track of upcoming repairs, existing damage, and annual inspections can be tough.
InventoryPro helps you organize repairs and document evidence of damages in one place, giving you easy access to everything you may need on hand.
Similar apps like InventoryElf can help you keep a catalog of images that are time stamped and allow you to assess building conditions, damage, meter readings and the type of keys you deliver and receive.
Evernote is one of the most versatile organizational tools available.
- Photograph and record leases
- Make lists of repairs
- Sync up calendars to schedule meetings
- Organize notes into different categories
- Live search items by keyword
- Take photographs of receipts and organize them for accounting purposes
- Screenshot neighboring listings you want to keep an eye on
You can even get a paper notebook that transfers your handwritten notes into an online format.
An app for everything
Landlord Station is an all-in-one tool for on-the-go landlords and building managers.
Track bills and rent payments, send mass emails to tenants about inspections, and export information to your email when tax season comes around . . . all from your phone or tablet.
Can you creatively use each of the apps listed above to do all this for free? Perhaps.
But sometimes, it’s nice to have everything in one place 🙂
About the Author:
Nicholas Brown is a finance and tech writer based in Los Angeles. He’s the lead writer for JustRentToOwn, where he focuses on everything from economics and housing to sustainability and personal finance. You can check out the blog here.